Hamilton has its first candidate for the up-coming City Council East Ward by-election.

Matthew Small, 23, is a disability support worker and has begun campaigning for the East Ward by-election to be held in February. It follows the death of Councillor Philip Yeung in late September.

Mr Small has decided now is the time to make a change in politics after growing up under the poverty line.

"Seeing my sister going through the failing welfare system gave me passion to try and make changes to the system," Mr Small said.

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His says his inspiration comes from former National Prime Minister John Key, who stepped down in December last year.

"Welfare, domestic violence and social investment policies have made a positive impact on vulnerable people around the country. They are long-term policies that need more work and improvements and I hope the new government continues them," Mr Small said.

He wants to work with the council to focus on the community aspect of Hamilton, including retaining Destination Playgrounds.

Candidate nominations for the by-election open on Friday 24 November, when nomination papers will be available via the Council website. The nomination period closes at noon on Friday 22 December.

Further information for Hamilton City Council's East Ward by-election is available on the council website, hamilton.govt.nz/byelection.

Voting is by postal vote from Friday 26 January to noon on Saturday 17 February.

The preliminary electoral roll will be available for public inspection between 24 November and 22 December at:
* Customer Services Desk, Municipal Building, Garden Place.
* Council's Central Pop-up Library, Garden Place.
* Hillcrest Library.
* Waikato Migrant Resource Centre, Boundary Road.
* Waikato Regional Council, Grey Street.